Wednesday, September 19, 2007

National Debt Madness

Paulson Asks Congress to Lift Debt Limit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress on Wednesday the government will hit the current debt ceiling on Oct. 1.

He sought quick action to increase the limit, saying it was essential to protect the "full faith and credit" of the country, especially at a time of financial market turmoil.

The limit is $8.965 trillion. Unless Congress votes to raise it, the country would be unable to borrow more money to keep the government operating and to pay debt obligations coming due.

Actually having tax rates reflect what government services we have decided we need would be such a terrible thing, don't you know. According to the neoconservatives, borrowing and spending (and paying interest on the resulting debt) is far preferable to, you know, actually paying for it responsibly. Now if we could just get the Democrats to get a spine and stand up to the fiscally irresponsible neoconservatives, maybe we could actually have real discussion on what this country can really afford.

The real reason the neoconservative Republicans want to keep raising the national debt is to eliminate social spending through the Starve the Beast plan.

It really comes down to a values question of "guns vs. butter." I am curious if anyone has ever studied the return on investment of foreign entanglements where we try to acquire natural resources through military engagement vs. taking that same money and plowing it into America's infrastructure and alleviation of social ills. I think that we promote too much conflict in this world. There is too much spending on "guns" and not enough on "butter."

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